ENVENG 752 : Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment


2024 Semester Two (1245) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Assessment and applications of sustainability principles in the design of products and/or infrastructures, including the use of sustainability tools. Provides an overview of life cycle assessment (LCA) based on ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 standards. Introduces LCA software to assist in analysing the data, interpreting the results and writing LCA reports.

Course Overview

This paper focuses on the applications of sustainability and LCA theories and practices in engineering. The students will also perform an LCA study and report the environmental impacts of a product or process. The course has 2h-interactive lectures per week and required readings where the students learn the fundamentals of sustainability and LCA. During the lectures, there are class activities where students apply the concepts. The course involves a variety of individual and group assessments to evaluate both the concepts and practical applications. 

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe and explain the fundamentals of sustainability and LCA (Capability 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 and 4.2)
  2. Estimate the environmental impacts of a product or process (Capability 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 and 4.2)
  3. Develop an LCA model for a product or process using OpenLCA software (Capability 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 and 4.2)
  4. Critically analyse, write and present an LCA report of an engineered product or process (Capability 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 6.1 and 7.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Quizzes and Assignment 15% Individual Coursework
Test 15% Individual Coursework
Project 70% Group & Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Quizzes and Assignment

 Missed assessments

There is no final exam in the course. However, if a student misses any assessments (regardless of the weighting), the student may take the make-up assessment in a test format to make up for the missed assessments given that the student has approved on-course exemption form. The make-up assessment will be scheduled after the university examination period.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 24 hours of seminar/lectures/tutorials, 36 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and 90 hours of work on coursework.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials/labs will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

All learning resources will be available on Canvas.

Health & Safety

Students must ensure they are familiar with their Health and Safety responsibilities, as described in the university's Health and Safety policy.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Based on the 2023 SET results, the students found that the most helpful aspects of the course were:
    1. variety of the assessments
    2. class discussion
    3. group LCA project
    4. working in a group
On the other hand, students found the most challenging aspects of the course were:
    1. complexity of the product chosen for the LCA project
    2. workload
In 2024, the product for the LCA project will be changed to a less complex one.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.